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Uttarakhand HC questions Govt’s authority to decide ‘What a citizen would eat’

Legal News, National, Dehradun, July 17:-Earlier this year in March, the Uttarakhand government had issued a blanket ban on all slaughterhouses in Haridwar, declaring all municipal zones in the district ‘slaughterhouse-free’ zones.
On July 13, a group of petitioners filed a PIL challenging the order. Hearing the matter on Friday, the Uttarakhand High Court made the observation that “democracy does not only mean the rule of the majority but also the protection of the rights of the minorities”.

While hearing two petitions on the issue of the meat ban, the High Court said that a civilization should be measured by how it treats the minority population. The meat ban in Haridwar, it said, raises the question of whether the state has the right to decide what citizens should consume.

Chief Justice RS Chauhan said, “The issue is whether the citizen has the right to choose his own food or it will be decided by the state… If we say that the state can decide this because there is a ban on a particular type of meat, then can other types of meat also be banned?’

After the order in March, the district administration had cancelled all the no-objection certificates issued to the slaughterhouses in Haridwar. The High Court said that instead of focusing on the religious aspect in this matter, the focus should be on what the Constitution says about religious freedom and privacy.

The court, while admitting that “Serious and substantive issues” were raised in the two PILs, refused to pass any verdict before Bakri id which falls on July 21. Instead, the High Court fixed July 23 as the next date of hearing

-NAV, Inputs: Agencies

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